Category Archives: Curated Link Pack

5 Things to Focus on When Storytelling for Video

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Scripting is the hardest part of the video marketing journey to get right and unfortunately the part you need to nail for the rest to fall into place. The rest being: Shooting, editing, distribution, and the desired outcome, like customer awareness, engagement, or conversion.

I’ve written a lot about storytelling in general and what to look out for when crafting your message, but today I want to focus on Storytelling for video.

I asked my friend, playwright, and corporate scriptwriter Joni Fritz about what she focuses on when writing for corporate video over rather than writing for print, a speech, or (her passion) a play:

“Print and video are definitely two different animals.  I find when I’m writing narration for video, my sentences are shorter and more dramatic. I get to the point faster. I read everything aloud to make sure it flows off my tongue easily. Print can be easier and free-flowing. Longer sentences with more description. With video, I’m always trying to make things sharp and concise.”

I find the hardest part of writing for video to be finding the balance between telling a compelling story and keeping it moving. I like to embellish and when I’m talking to someone in person I can lengthen or shorten a story as needed, taking cues from my listener’s body language.

With video, you’re hoping for that captive audience hanging off your every word, but you have no feedback loop.

I tend to err on the side of super short, then again, I also edit my own pieces and after the umpteenth time looking at and hearing the same thing I just want to cut it all…

Over the past year, I’ve looked a hundreds and hundreds of videos produced by fellow small business owners and “internet sensations” and what the good videos have in common isn’t that they are perfectly produced, but rather a sense of authenticity. That is, they display energy, personality, sincerity, and a value proposition that resonates.

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When you go for personality there will be those who are attracted by your (video) personality, and those who will not.

But those in your audience who like you will really connect with you and your story and that’s what creates awareness, engagement, and ultimately converts them to customers.

The worst choice is, to play it safe and consequently be bland and then no-one really cares. At that point, why bother with video?

I hear, that when Gary Vee speaks, some people just roll their eyes and others soak up every word he utters.

He has a distinct style. Take it or leave it, but he is himself and he gives valuable information with each piece of communication he puts out. He has a huge following. Why? He puts out great value with each piece of communication AND he’s got a personality to boot.

Then there’s the incomparable Casey Neistat, filmmaker and YouTube sensation. Casey’s Vlog often exposes injustices, his videos are, fun, messy, and – although casual on the surface – very well produced. He’s real, authentic, energetic, and mesmerizing to watch.

But, not everybody has a bubbly personality. Some quieter voices, like Roberto Blake will appeal to a different set of viewers and maybe at a different scale, but they are still out there and getting traction. I like that Roberto offers reliable, and solid advice on all things digital creation. He has a consistent, quiet but engaging way of roping you into his world. And his channel is growing by the day.

Bottom line: Find YOUR voice, be friendly, and don’t forget to smile!

So, since we’re at it – keep these 5 points in mind when planning and writing your video copy:

  1. Create VALUE with each communication you put out there
  1. Even if your video isn’t “teaching” something, make sure your video has depth and resonance. Give your viewers a chance to connect with you and what you stand for (or sell)
  1. Be clear who your audience is: Storytelling should lead to a single goal; which is yours?
    • Are you introducing yourself and your motivation for what you do?
    • Are you offering a special and talking about why the time to act is now?
    • Are you explaining a new feature or product and why it is superior?
  1. Plan to your strengths – I have a writer friend Michael Katz, who insists on doing screen-recordings and voice-over. That’s his thing. I think he would look great on-camera, but he’s chosen that style because it plays to his strengths and admittedly, he does have a great voice.

For me, I’m a talker and I don’t mind being in front of the camera: And I produce my own footage without help, so I stick to talking-head videos and simple graphics (for now).

  1. I’ll never stop reminding you: Keep it short!

Watch Nina’s VLOG on the topic

And, here some inspiration beyond talking head videos:

  • Upgrade to 1st class documented by Casey Neistat: https://youtu.be/84WIaK3bl_s – Hysterical: And don’t be fooled – it’s expertly shot and edited

  • Liz Benny: https://youtu.be/KdDmamHTd9Y – DIY, super easy to reproduce. Just images, footage, music (although way too loud), graphics: “KAPOW” as Liz would say:

CURATED LINK PACK:

  1. For good content to resonate, it needs to have depth, value and specificity and be supported by the right social media platform. Gary Vee asks: “What’s going on in the world you’re trying to be a part of? How can you insert yourself into the conversation?” https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/one-piece-of-content-can-change-your-life/
  2. Writer, director, and master storyteller Andrew Stanton of Pixar Studios (Toy Story, WALL-E) examines in his TED talk the power of a great story. Listen to it and be inspired: https://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_stanton_the_clues_to_a_great_story/transcript?language=en
  3. Wistia makes a case for psychological tactics to catch and keep your audiences eye. It also includes useful examples of brands using those tactics: https://wistia.com/blog/using-psychology-for-video
  4. This Moz blog post is one of the best I’ve read so far on storytelling – no matter if the author focuses on web copy: It applies to video too: | Storytelling 301: Site Content as Story https://moz.com/blog/storytelling-site-content

Why It Is Completely Irrelevant Which is More Important: Content or Context [updated with Curated Link Pack]

Bill Gates famously quoted “Content is King” in 1996. Since, the quote has been altered so many times it’s hard to keep up: “Content is King and Context is God”, or “Content is King, and Context is Queen”, etc. The world has changed. In what relationship are content and context today?

Maybe it’s the Swiss in me (we love consensus so much so we have seven ministers run the country), but I think there is no need for a “one over the other” in terms of importance. Neither content nor context survives without the other. Content and context are equally as important.

Think of video marketing as a strategic board game where context drives content, and content excels within proper context.

The most amazing content goes “poof” within the wrong context, and all the context in the world can’t save bad content. Period.

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Video Marketing Best Practices for 2017: Curated Link Pack

What are the prevailing video marketing trends for 2017?  Here a few curated picks, not only for video marketing, but for digital and visual marketing in general:

7 Video Marketing Trends for 2017 (and What They Mean for You) the only thing that interested me here was the mention of ‘temporary’ content (i.e. Snapchat). Any content, video included, has a shorter and shorter lifespan which will have budget and quality consequences. Nothing new, but the trend – for now – is solidifying itself with every passing year.

10 Video Marketing Trends To Look Out For In 2017: A solid list, with nothing too new, or too exciting. Less a piece on trends than taking stock of the current situation – like the integration of video into emails (amazingly enough that’s still a challenge – although there are some very good workarounds).

PRO TIP: What I do is, I post a thumbnail photo of the video in the email and then link the photo to the video hosted on YouTube (or whichever hosting service I’m using). It’s a few extra steps, but has the advantage of sending viewers to a place where your stats accumulate.

9 New Visual Content Marketing Trends for 2017: Also solid surprising list with a very relevant focus on visual content – be it (stock) photos or video content.

Top 10 Trends That Will Transform Digital Marketing In 2017: Some interesting thoughts. I would latch on to the keywords: Mobile, curated, and Influencer Marketing.

Curious what our best practices are for 2017? Read our blog post Why I stopped Caring About Trend Predictions and watch my vlog post on 5 Best Video Marketing Practices for 2017.

Video Marketing for Beginners: Curated Link Pack

With personal devices and social media platforms prominent in our daily lives, video is fast becoming one of the most powerful marketing tools for any size business.iPhone Editing

Still unsure if video marketing is right for your business? Or not sure you’re achieving your video marketing potential? We’ve curated these great links to give you a little insight into why and how video can be your company’s best friend; especially when it comes to branding, social media, and engagement.

  1. The proof is in the pudding! Check out this fantastic infographic by Vidyard, 10 Amazing Facts That Will Turn You Into A Video Marketing Advocate, full of statistics like: “Adding videos to your site increases your chances of a front-page Google result by 50x”.
  1. It’s true: Internet giant Google loves video marketing. So much so that they partnered with different brands in their “Unskippable Lab” series to figure out how ad length, storytelling style, and brand placement affected engagement and conversion metrics. Find out their results and more in What We Learned From a Year of Experimenting With Digital Video Adds. And make sure to check out the related story on how the same video plays differently on TV, Desktop, and Mobile In Video Advertising, is Longer Stronger?
  1. I love this blog post from Wistia mostly because they and I see totally eye to eye [it rhymes even] when it comes to video marketing strategies and video production. How To Add Video into Your Content Strategy really drives the message home, gives solid and approachable advice and it backs me up!
  1. There are many different ways you can use video to promote your business, from introductions and creation stories to product demonstrations and client testimonials. 10 Ways Small Businesses Should Be Using Video (with Examples!) will give you a brief explanation of how each video type can help your business with some fun and useful examples.
  2. Vimeo focuses on general marketing terminology that translates into video marketing in The terms you need to know when making a business video, so you can talk the talk (especially if you’re outsourcing). And if you want even more lingo check out our Definition Days. I love their video samples.

Ready to dive into Video Marketing? Let us get you on the right track with our comprehensive Video Assessment service.

Curated Link Picks: Video on Social Media – updated (twice)

Curated Link Picks: Content Ideas & Social Media Distribution

Curated Link Picks: Explainer Videos